Spanish govt says Catalan vote will not go ahead

Spanish government
A planned vote in Catalonia on Sunday on independence from Spain will not go ahead, a spokesman for the Spanish government has said.

"I insist that there will be no referendum on October 1," Mendez de Vigo said during a press conference following the weekly cabinet meeting, reiterating the government's position that the vote was illegal.

Earlier this morning Catalonia's leader made clear his government was determined to go ahead with the vote, which has thrust Spain into its most dramatic political crisis for decades.

"Everything is prepared at the more than 2,000 voting points so they have ballot boxes and voting slips, and have everything people need to express their opinion," Carles Puigdemont said in an interview.

Spain's central authorities have sent thousands of police reinforcements to Catalonia to ensure no votes are cast.

Regional courts have ordered police to cordon off schools scheduled to be used as ballot stations.

In a bid to keep schools open, parents have called for a region-wide, school sleep-over this weekend, with tents and sleeping bags, free paella and cinema.

Organisers said 60,000 had already registered to participate.


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